The Jacksonville Sharks have clinched a berth in the 2019 NAL playoffs after beating the New York Streets 51-42 on Saturday night.
Despite the close score, the Sharks were in control for much of the game, which was played in White Plains, NY. The team scored first on a 4-yard touchdown run by FB/LB Zack Brown, who’s proven to be a nifty double-threat for the Sharks this year.
The Streets responded quickly with two scores, including one off of a fumble by Sharks QB Mike Fafaul, putting them up 13-7 by the end of the first quarter. But the Sharks would take firm control of the action in the second frame, putting up 25 points in the quarter including two touchdowns – one rushing, one receiving – from WR Durron Neal.
From there, the Sharks’ defense held the Streets in check just enough to keep them at pace with the team’s solid offensive effort. The defense held Streets QB David Legree to a brutal 37% completion rate and sacked him twice. DB Seth Ellis also pulled in his league-leading tenth interception of the season.
The closest the Streets would get was a 4-point gap midway through the fourth, which was quickly answered by two straight Sharks TDs.
Fafaul, in his third straight start filling in for the injured Jonathan Bane, continued to provide stability under center. He went 23-of-30 for 311 yards and 5 TDs, with one interception and a lost fumble.
Neal and Jarmon Fortson both finished the game with over 100 receiving yards – Neal finished with 149 on nine catches, and Fortson has 111 on eight grabs – and a pair of touchdowns. Devin Wilson also found the end-zone once.
Neal and Brown each scored rushing TDs for the Sharks, who advance to 9-1 and have won nine games in a row following their loss to the Streets on opening night.
Next week, the Sharks will face the in-state rival Orlando Predators at the Amway Center in Orlando, where they’ll look to extend their winning streak to ten games.